"Did you always want to be in a rock band? How did you end up starting MoTHER?"
"I have always been into playing and listening to music. Different instruments always intrigued me. As a kid, listening to the music of some of my favorites. They were loud, raucous, passionate, and easy to latch onto. It was early on in high school when I got into playing the “rock” instruments. I finally picked up an electric guitar and played with everyone I knew that was a musician. As years go by and things start growing, you find more and more people to play with on various levels. MoTHER was started after a band I had tried to keep through many lineups finally just called it quits. There was no direction. I met Mike through a mutual friend and we instantly started jamming and composing songs and parts of songs. I had already been playing with Johnny Bass for years and I felt like we could be onto something. We actually made the name before the band even fully existed. It’s big, it’s nurturing, and it’s versatile."
"I love that MoTHER incorporates so many different musical styles. What bands are you influenced by now, and what bands did you listen to growing up?"
"Some of my staples growing up are Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains, etc. as well as a lot of old soul and crooner type stuff. These days, I look for anything that’s raw, emotive, and lyrically captivating. I’m really into this chick Bishop Briggs right now. While it may not sound like our usual rock n roll style, to me that is some powerful shit. Some other newer artists I love are Royal Thunder, Highly Suspect, Royal Blood, Black Foxxes, Nothing But Thieves. They are all doing something unique and special, really pushing the genre on a great path. Honestly, this is one of those things I could talk about all day long. It’s tough to answer in short."
"In addition to singing, you also play keys and harp for the band. Are there any other instruments you play or would like to play?"
"I dabble with the guitar a bit as it helps me write. I used to play rhythm guitar for MoTHER, but it became unnecessary. Mike and John fill up so much sonic space with their respective guitar and bass tones, and it helps me to focus on being a front man. I like to perform. I like to move. I hate being stuck in front of the center stage mic stand. I’d like to learn or at least mess around with any instrument I can. I think someday I would take up cello. It is so powerful and sits in this perfect frequency range that just grabs me."
"You're also a Jersey City firefighter! This might be a stretch, but are there any similarities between the rush you get running into a burning building and the rush you get performing on stage?"
"Of course! Obviously, they have their major differences as well. Being on stage doesn’t usually have the “I might die doing this” factor but it is certainly a major rush, and is a very big reason why I continue to perform. I kind of get to disappear up on stage. Even though I may be in front of a ton of people, it’s truly an escaped moment. They are both big adrenaline-inducing lines of work, and I am a junkie for that stuff. It’s also very similar in the aspects of family, brotherhood, and teamwork. On the fire truck, there are four of us working as a unit to keep each other and those we serve as safe as possible. The same goes on stage: as we form this sound, this show, and these feelings as one. A lot of it comes down to unspoken communication which is a great thing to experience."
"On top of fighting fires and being a frontman, you're also in charge of the band's management/publicity. How do you manage your time? Are there any other careers we don't know about?"
"I love working with my hands, so I will always pick up jobs fixing things, building things, etc. Welding and woodworking are two of my favorite which I will occasionally do for extra cash. Hopefully soon, I will be passing on the management duties to the next level!"
"What do you like to do during the two seconds of free time you have?"
"What two seconds? (laughs) I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I love riding Harleys, snowboarding, surfing, skydiving, etc. I’m also an all-around beach bum. Any chance I can get to be in the sun, sand, and surf, I will jump on it."
"What's been your craziest, or most memorable, fan experience?"
"Well, I’d like to say that every experience is a memorable one and there are a lot to choose from, but I’ll stick with this one. We were on the road for a small tour with a band called Saving Abel. We had just purchased this old beat up trailer and didn’t have the time to really fix it up so we just went with it. On our extremely long drive from Connecticut to West Virginia, shit hit the fan. We blew a tire in the middle of nowhere and made it to the show with just enough time for us to sprint right onto the stage and play. The place was packed and as soon as we finished our set we notice a ton of people start disappearing. As we are loading out there are people trading unmarked bottles and swigging, tasting, and sharing this mystery stuff. This became our first experience with homemade moonshine. One particular gentleman gifted us with nine bottles of his own lightning. I swear, it was the most delicious liquor I ever tasted, and it totally masked the fact that it was around 160 proof. We all made the mistake of not listening to this dude when he said to go easy. Thank the sweet moonshine gods that we had the next few days off because we might as well have been dead."
"From what I've seen and heard, MoTHER shows are super high-energy. How do you prepare for a show? Do you have any pre-show rituals/warm-ups or ways to pump yourself up?"
"This one is interesting because each of us has his own thing. There are moments of chaos before a show. There are moments of ease. No two shows are the same and you never know where your mind and body will be that day leading up to stage time. For myself, it becomes about focus, and digging into the moment that’s about to happen. It’s sort of like pulling back a slingshot—getting to the point where every little movement might be the breaking point. Just before it snaps, you let go and release the ammunition into the performance. Lately, we have been adding more layered vocals into our new stuff. Myself, Mike (guitar) and Dan (drums) get in the van or green room together and go over the songs acoustically. This way everyone gets a good vocal warm up going. Johnny (bass) likes to indulge in a few IPAs to get himself aligned."
"What cities are on your touring bucket list?"
"Chicago, New Orleans, Tokyo, London, Sydney, and literally anywhere we have or haven’t played. Honestly, I’d love to play anywhere in the world."
"I'm absolutely loving your latest single, 'Medicine.' What's your "medicine" of choice?"
"That definitely changes with my mood… But some of my usual suspects are saltwater, sun, PBR, and Jameson… And I guess West Virginian moonshine (laughs)."